S05 HSSRME 2 2018 Safety_Layout 1 11/09/2018 13:43 Page 17
false alarm nightmare
Advanced, a leading fire systems provider, offers some advice on measures to prevent false alarms.
“A vital piece in the false alarm management jigsaw – whether in domestic, public, commercial or industrial settings – is education.”
ost nights, the fire alarm goes off after midnight in the building where I live. It rings for about 20 minutes before security switches it off. This has been happening for almost three years. The alarm has never yet been the result of a real fire, but I fear the day when it is. Everyone’s become so complacent now that I worry no one will react when an emergency does happen – and there will be very serious consequences.” The day-to-day experience of this Dubai resident is common across many parts of the UAE.
The frequent occurrence of false fire alarms is undermining people’s trust in fire alarm systems, altering their behaviour towards the signals that are designed to protect them, and putting lives at unnecessary risk. A renewed focus on fire safety – spurred by high profile fires in recent years and the 2017 update to the ‘UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice’ – is very timely in addressing false alarmrelated issues.
What can be done to reduce false alarms? Repeated false alarms have far-
reaching costs. Not only do they risk lives by causing complacency and delaying response to real alarms, they also waste the time and resources of the fire and rescue services and cause disruption to business. As ever with complex problems, the solution lies in many areas. It’s a question of carefully assessing all the risks of false alarms in a specific setting, then putting the most appropriate measures in place to address them. A vital piece in the false alarm management jigsaw – whether in domestic, public, commercial or industrial settings – is
Most common causes of fire alarms
AUTUMN 2018 | www.hssreview.me